Bone Bits Found At Fort
(Not many) Human remains found at juamei's 'world's dullest fort'.
Richard Parr EDP24
November 13, 2003 06:00
Fragments of human skull were found on the side of a ditch during an excavation of the site of an Iron Age hill fort in north-west Norfolk.
In the summer, Norfolk Archaeological Trust announced it had bought a 17-acre site comprising the remains of the fort at Bloodgate Hill, South Creake, near Fakenham, to stop further ploughing. A geophysical survey was carried out and this revealed the line of a defensive ditch and an internal circular enclosure. A complete section was dug up along the main ditch and bank to reveal that it was four metres deep, making a formidable defence.
Up to half a dozen Iron Age forts are known in Norfolk and two of them at Thetford Castle and Warham Camp, near Wells have revealed defences of a similar size in previous excavations. The trust was looking for artefacts to help date the site, which is believed to have been constructed in the last few centuries before the Roman invasion.
Peter Wade-Martins, who runs the archaeological trust at Gressenhall, near Dereham, said the trust did not know whether the fort had ever been attacked, but fragments of human skull had been found on the side of the ditch during the excavation. So few finds were made during the excavation that the trust brought in Jean-luc Schwenningen, from the Research Laboratory for Archaeology at Oxford.
The laboratory took three samples from the silts in the ditch to measure the electronic charge in the particles of sand. These particles pick up charge at a constant rate from the radiation in the surrounding soil from the moment they were last exposed to daylight. "So the hope is that we will know how old the silts are, plus or minus 10 per cent," said Dr Wade-Martins. "This is a new technique which has only recently been employed on sites like this. We are hoping to hear the results by January."
Posted by Rhiannon
13th November 2003ce
Edited 20th November 2003ce